Post-Operative Care Instructions – Primary Dental Extractions


  • Keep the gauze in place for thirty minutes after your procedure, then remove it to check the surgical site(s). If there is minimal or no bleeding, leave the gauze out. A blood clot, or scab, will naturally form over the surgical site(s).
  • If after checking the surgical site(s), you observe blood pooling in your mouth, place a fresh piece of gauze. First, wet the gauze with water, squeeze it out, fold it into a 1″ by 1″ square, and put it over the site. Apply pressure for thirty minutes, then check the area again.
  • Avoid excessive gauze replacement, as it may increase bleeding. Expect pinkish to reddish saliva in the days following your procedure; this is a normal part of the healing process.
  • If blood continues to pool after following these instructions for two hours, please contact our office for further assistance.



  • Always take medications with food or a glass of water to avoid stomach upset.
  • Take 10-15mg (per kg of body weight) of ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.) as soon as possible and before the numbing wears off. Then, follow up with 10mg/kg* of acetaminophen (Tylenol) three hours later. Repeat this cycle every three hours for at least the first day.
  • *1 pound = 2.2 kilograms
  • Make sure not to exceed 4 x single dose of ibuprofen or 4 x single dose of acetaminophen within a 24-hour period.
  • Apply ice to the outside of your face, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, during the first 72 hours (3 days) after your procedure. If you experience pain or swelling beyond 72 hours, you may switch to heat, following the same, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, pattern.
  • Swelling may continue to increase for up to 3 days after your procedure. To help reduce it, elevate your head when lying down.
  • Antibiotics (if prescribed): Begin taking them this evening or the morning following your procedure. Continue to take them, as directed, until gone. Always take antibiotics with food to avoid stomach upset.


  • Begin with clear liquids, avoiding hot liquids until the numbness subsides.
  • Once numbness subsides, transition to soft foods such as applesauce, scrambled eggs, pancakes, mashed potatoes, or soup, taking care to avoid the surgical site(s). As you feel more comfortable, gradually reintroduce more solid foods.
  • Avoid hard or crunchy foods for a week or two, as they can get lodged in the surgical sites.


  • You may brush your teeth, being careful to avoid the surgical site(s). For the first 72 hours following your procedure, GENTLY rinse your mouth allowing the remains to fall into the sink rather than spitting them out. After 72 hours, you may rinse more vigorously.
  • The day of your procedure, begin rinsing at least 3 – 4 times daily with a saltwater solution (1 cup of water and 1 tsp of table salt) for one week. During the initial 72 hours, GENTLY rinse with the saltwater solution. After 72 hours, you may rinse more vigorously. If you are unable to tolerate saltwater, plain, warm water is okay.


  • If placed, sutures will dissolve or fall out 3 – 7 days after your procedure. It is okay if they come out sooner than 3 days. If there is no active bleeding, you will continue to heal as normal.


  • If you were sedated with an IV, you need to have a responsible adult monitor you for the 12 hours following your procedure.

Prescriptions: Any prescriptions will be sent electronically to your pharmacy. It may take up to 6 hours for your prescriptions to be ready. Please contact our office if it has been more than 6 hours.

Contact Our Office: If you have questions or concerns, please contact our office at (269)323-1527. We have a surgeon on call 24/7. For after-hours calls, our answering service will assist you. Please leave the patient’s name, date of birth, and a callback number. The on-call surgeon will contact you at the earliest opportunity.